Word Count: 369
Things To Be Aware Of: Suicidal themes.
Summary: Ianto is on a roof, and a tipping point.
Beta: No one!
Author Notes: Written for torchwood_las. GUYS. I WROTE TORCHWOOD AGAIN. I MISSED THEIR FACES OF ANGST. Ahem. Carry on.
From the stairwell, Jack says “I’ve been there before” as though he’s talking about some café or foreign city.
Ianto is looking up into the night and prodding the roof’s ledge with the toes of his shoes, alternating the weight on his feet. He knows Jack doesn’t mean the sky, the stars, or the planets. He knows this the same way Jack knows what toeing a ledge might mean.
(There are seventeen seconds between them, right now. The seconds extend into minutes and hours until the stretched rubber snaps back. Time is no longer a consistent measure, like a metronome that’s been adjusted mid-beat or a piece of graceful music that stumbles to strange staccato and then evens out again.)
Jack clears his throat and steps closer – close enough so that Ianto can sense the shift of Jack’s head as he looks up, too.
“Sometimes, it’s nice. For a little while. Restful, some peace and quiet. But people like us aren’t meant for rest, Ianto.”
Jack’s hand rests on Ianto’s shoulder, warm through the thin fabric of his shirt. Ianto can’t find the words to tell him that it isn’t the thick gloom, the reverberating quiet, that he craves – eternal rest, he agrees, will do him no good.
“I’m not going to jump,” he says, annoyed, and takes a step back as Jack’s hand moves from shoulder to waist.
“No, you aren’t.”
It is cold on the rooftop and the wind adds an even sharper chill, but it feels good against his face and it numbs his fingers; it turns Jack’s body heat into a line of fire down his back. Ianto closes his eyes against the pinpricks of light in front of him: red-orange below, blue-white above.
“I know,” Jack says, “but you wanted to fall.”
The hand on Ianto’s waist shifts until a whole arm encircles him. He leans back and, with the shade of his eyelids and the bright rush of wind across him, it feels like plummeting into the shadows.
Ianto lets himself smile, just a little.
“I did,” he says. “I do.”
After all, he thinks, there are other ways to let go and fall into the darkness.
So he does.